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How a World Order Ends

And What Comes in Its Wake

  • Richard Haass
  • Foreign Affairs

A stable world order is a rare thing. When one does arise, it tends to come after a great convulsion that creates both the conditions and the desire for something new.

It requires a stable distribution of power and broad acceptance of the rules that govern the conduct of international relations.

It also needs skillful statecraft, since an order is made, not born.

And no matter how ripe the starting conditions or strong the initial desire, maintaining it demands creative diplomacy, functioning institutions, and effective action to adjust it when circumstances change and…

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